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VIDEO: Egypt seal double over Botswana in 2015 AFCON qualifying
The Egyptian national team revived their chances of qualifying to the 2015 African Cup Of Nations, following a three-year absence, after beating Botswana 2-0 – the same result as the away fixture.
Shawky Gharib fielded an unchanged team to the side that defeated the Zebras in Gabarone, with Ahmed Fathi retaining the captain’s armband while Amr El-Sulaya and Ibrahim Salah kept their spots in the middle of the park for the Pharaohs.
Egypt XI: Ahmed El-Shennawy; Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Mohamed Naguib, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy; Amr El-Sulaya, Ibrahim Salah, Mohamed El-Nenny; Walid Soliman, Mohamed Salah, Amr Gamal
Botswana XI: Kabelo Dambe, Obonye Moswate, Mosha Gaolaolwe, Boitumelo Mafoko, Edwin Olerile, Mogogi Gabonamong, Bonolo Phuduhudu, Thato Ogopotse, Kenanao Kgetholetsile, Segolame Boy, Mokgathi Mokgathicc
Ten minutes into the first-half, Amr Gamal’s beautiful touch following El-Sulaya’s pass set up Chelsea man Mohamed Salah, who went one-on-one with the goalkeeper but his shot from the edge of the box hit the low post. However, the linesman ruled Salah offside, which turned out to be an incorrect decision as replays showed he was clearly onside.
Almost 32 minutes into the match, Amr Gamal latched onto Abdel-Shafy’s cross from the left flank, but his header went wide of post.
Following wonderful build-up play from the Pharaohs and a good spell of passing in Botswana’s midfield, El-Sulaya put in a wonderful through-ball to Amr Gamal, whose shot from inside the box, after losing his man, was easily saved by goalkeeper Dambe.
Botswana won a foul in Egypt’s midfield, but Segolame Boy’s free-kick went straight into the wall. The Pharaohs were quickly on their feet as they counter-attacked with El-Sulaya releasing Salah down the right, but his effort was parried by Dambe. The rebound fell to Sulaya, but the Ismaily midfielder failed to hit the target from close range.
Amr El-Sulaya seemed determined to register an assist just before half-time. The 24-year-old midfielder delivered another ball into the box where Saad Samir glanced a header that went just over the bar.
Just seven minutes into the second-half, Al Ahly striker Amr Gamal scored the first goal of the match, his second for the national team. El-Nenny found Gamal with a great pass, and the young striker made no mistake from the edge of the area.
Gamal came close to scoring his second minutes later as he broke in from between two defenders to get onto Soliman’s cross from inside the six-yard box. Dambe miraculously, and luckily for the Zebras, touched the ball turning it into a corner.
Fresh in for first-half star Amr El-Sulaya, Zamalek’s Ayman Hefny flicked the ball towards Mohamed Salah, whose skillfull touch set up the ball in front of himself, before he cut into the box from the right side before failing to double the lead as he hit the crossbar.
Mohamed Salah then doubled the lead for the Pharaohs with former FC Basel and Arab Contractors teammate Mohamed El-Nenny assisting his second of the game. El-Nenny – who now has one goal and two assists in as many matches this international break – passed the ball from the half-line to the Chelsea winger, who took a heavy first touch, but Dambe held his ground and Salah finished with aplomb.
Salah now has two goals in as many games against Botswana this month, and his 20th international goal for Egypt.
This win increases the Pharaohs tally of points to 6, just one away from Tunisia and Senegal who are on 7 points, with their match still being played in Tunisia. Meanwhile, Botswana are the first team to be mathematically eliminated from 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying, with 0 points from 4 games.
Who do you expect to be the top scorer in the Egyptian Premier League this season?
- Malick Evouna (Al Ahly) (30%, 212 Votes)
- Mahmoud Kahraba (Zamalek) (22%, 155 Votes)
- Bassem Morsi (Zamalek) (18%, 130 Votes)
- Stanley Ohawuchi (Wadi Degla) (13%, 90 Votes)
- John Antwi (Al Ahly) (9%, 65 Votes)
- Other (6%, 43 Votes)
- Nana Poku (Misr El-Maqassa) (3%, 18 Votes)
Total Voters: 713